My first contribution to Tandy’s challenge was my Christmas lunch, but the day was so riotous that I forgot to ask my guests to fill in the rating form, so the post is probably disqualified by the judges.

This is my second attempt, from a long lunch early in December:

My three guests we strangers to one another; all were clients whom I wanted to thank for the work they’d given me during the year. It was a perfect afternoon, leading into a lovely summer evening.

The starter course was a sandwich of kingklip, chopped onion and potato patties, with a wasabi kissed avocado mousse. (Kingklip (Genypterus capensis) is a member of the cuskeel family (Ophidiidae) and is endemic to Southern African waters.)

Rating average according to: taste, appearance, timing and my hostessing abilities; out of 10: My average was 8. Notable comment: The contrast of textures was lovely; the crunchy onion a sweet surprise after the mild sting of the wasabi.

The wine: Welmoed Chenin Blanc 2010


My main course was a slow roasted Sardinian-style leg of lamb, with a warm salad of herbed baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes and black olives.

The wine: Backsberg Shiraz 2009

Average rating: 9. Notable comment: The lamb was rich and the simplicity of the salad was perfect to undercut this richness.


For dessert I did a trip down memory lane; something we all used to make in our 20s, when we were just setting up home and starting to entertain for the first time. Halved peaches, stuffed with Romany Creams and drizzled with peach juice and brandy before baking. I served these with whipped cream.

Nobody wanted wine with this course, but we relaxed afterwards with coffee and Drambuie.

Everyone rated this 10/10. Notable comment: It was perfect; nostalgic, unpretentious and just the perfect size.